Accor, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott
International have invested a combined $50 million in Groups360, a technology
platform for searching meeting spaces and rates. Each investor will have a seat
on the board.
Groups360 will use the money to enhance its GroupSync
platform and offerings. Currently, planners can use the platform to search
destinations for hotels and future rates, which are determined by an algorithm
that accounts for current rates and economic factors. This means planners don't
need to use RFPs to seek out rates and thus can request proposals from a
narrower roster of venues.
Groups360's road map, though, includes a booking
solution for simple meetings, said president and CEO Kemp Gallineau. "Getting
to instant booking is one of our focal points." The company has not
determined a time line.
Groups360 also will use its new funds to expand its sales,
marketing and engineering teams. "We currently have 30 people in the
company, all employed in the U.S.," Gallineau said. "Over the next 18
to 24 months, we plan to have 100 to 150 people globally."
The company's database has more than 170,000 properties
across 225 countries, representing Accor, Hilton, IHG and Marriott, as well as
other brands and independent properties. Groups360 said it will continue to
offer a variety of venues.
Source: Business Travel News